Action Man: Operation Extreme
With Action Man: Extreme Operation, Hasbro Interactive has seen fit to give us a game with two distinct modes of play, a whole host of different locales, a bunch of weapons, and both action and puzzle solving objectives. They've also given us a game with shoddy control, unremarkable visuals, puzzles that take absolutely no skill to decipher, and an all-around dull experience.
While it was kind to give us different ways to play the game, the developer should have spent some time perfecting one of the engines rather than giving us two that are decidedly substandard. In the game, you have overhead driving missions and the third-person action missions.
The overhead vehicle portions play very much like Grand Theft Auto. The perspective is the same, and the simple controls are nearly identical, as are the control issues that come along with it. You really do not feel like you're driving a car in these portions, but rather steering a little object across a slick surface. It is a combination of the perspective and the shoddy controls that make this portion needlessly touchy. Catching up to the enemy cars is extremely easy, since the A.I. is far less than bright, and doesn't so much flee from you as not flee at all. All in all, this portion of the game feels tacked on.
And that leaves the meat of the game, the action sequences, which try to play a touch like Syphon Filter. The control in this area is touchy too, although it fortunately doesn't make the game impossible to play. The problem is the incredibly easy puzzles mixed in with difficult fire fights, creating a whirlwind vortex of confused difficulty that ultimately shows Action Man isn't certain if it's intended for four-year-olds or seasoned gamers.
The problem with the puzzles is that they're all laid out to be solvable in nearly an instant. If you need to locate some objects, fire up your high-tech watch and it will tell you exactly where things are. Need to get out of a sticky situation? The game will tell you how to do so, even going so far as showing you the way out and explaining how to reach that way out in terms of the controls. There is absolutely no challenge in this aspect of the game.
But lest you get too comfortable with the puzzle mode, just wait until you get into a fight and start running out of ammo. The process to switch weapons is such a hassle that you'll barely even want to waste the time to do it. In reality, most portions of the fighting aren't that difficult, provided you use some skill and don't just get into an open firefight, but while the auto-aim is fine, the fighting feels rehashed from other titles in an only barely competent manner.
Everything about this game, from its standard, unimpressive look to tepid gameplay, screams below average. If action is the name of your game, you might want to give this one a rental, but for anyone who expects more out of their action titles, you can skip Action Man for now. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The game looks decent in some portions, but often the quality drops off. The character models all look and move like the toys they are based on, which is not a good thing. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The generic rock and pop music contained in Action Man will do little to get your pulse going. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The gameplay is extremely weak in both of the game engines, which makes for a tepid experience. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
If you didn't like it the first time around, you'll get to like it even less the second. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide
The manual does a fine job in explaining the game, even if it is drab. ~ Jon Thompson, All Game Guide